On a clear day, you can see forever

To the editor,

At the risk of overstaying my generous, literary welcome – and if the readership will kindly continue to indulge me – I’d like to “revise and extend my remarks” on the abortion issue, published in the May 23 edition.

First, by way of reviewing the issue that I then addressed: Why it is that, whereas a large segment of public opinion now favors the incarceration of physicians who perform abortions, nobody favors the jailing of formerly pregnant women who are at least as culpable as they in seeking out, conspiring with and being active with their physicians in the final abortive process?

However, as I recently found out, some pro-life legislators have experienced a logical epiphany. For they now seek to imprison, not only the abortionists, but also those women who are even more deeply involved in criminal conduct. A bright day, I guess, for moral and legal consistency, should Roe be overturned.

But hold. Again, I ask: What exactly do these neo-extremists want? I mean, practically, the difficult moral issues aside? Let’s all stop to think about that.

Imagine: An unmarried, isolated, indigent mother of five has an abortion, say for financial reasons. And it’s found out. She and her doctor are then duly charged, brought into criminal court and convicted. Then incarcerated as felons. Well, OK, Dear Reader, I suppose that I need not go on. For you now realize my point: the extreme expense to taxpayers of what will surely follow, with, perhaps, many thousands of those felons of similar ilk added to our already overcrowded jails and prisons. Do I exaggerate?

Maybe these rightist pro-life extremists will then have a change of heart, should Roe be overturned. Those budget-hawks (or, anyway, those former budget hawks) might eventually balk. After enjoying their needed, and legitimate, progressions of moral outrage and associated catharses. For months.

Perhaps we Americans would do well to remember the apt “faint praise” once offered by the perspicacious Barney Frank, in condemnation of many on the “religious” right: “Republicans care deeply about the sanctity and dignity of human life. From conception to birth.”

Whereas, we godless, uncaring libs are, maybe, more forward-looking.

Dick Behling

Cottage Grove

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